Aurora - Dearborn County Historical Marker

By Ginger Drenning, August 23, 2009

Aurora Historical Marker

Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers & Museums - South East Edition
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites,
Markers & Museums
South East Edition
Aurora was laid out by Jesse L. Holman, trustee for the “Aurora Association for Internal Improvements” in 1819. Judge Holman was an early statesman, preacher, educator, and Federal Justice.
His son, U.S. Congressman William S. Holman served this district many years and was called “the Watchdog of the Treasury”.
 Erected 1976 by Dearborn County Bicentennial Committee.
 Location. 39° 3.144' N, 84° 53.848' W. Marker is in Aurora, Indiana, in Dearborn County. Marker is on Route 56 south of 5th Street, on the right when traveling north.
South Edge of Aurora - in public parking area along the Ohio River at river's edge.
Marker is in this post office area: Aurora IN 47001, United States of America

Brief History

Jesse Lynch Holman (October 24, 1784 – March 18, 1842)
The son of Henry Holeman and Jane Gordon, Jessy was a native of the frontier near Danville, Kentucky. After reading law, the Kentucky bar admitted him in 1805. Holman practiced law first at Carrollton, Kentucky. After moving to New Castle and Frankfort, he moved to a site near current Aurora, Indiana in 1811. He built a two story log home overlooking the Ohio River he called Veraestau.
Politics and Law
Indiana Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison appointed Holman as prosecuting attorney for Dearborn County and  judge of the second judicial circuit in 1814. He also served as a member of the Territorial legislative assembly. After statehood, he served on the circuit court and on the Indiana Supreme court until 1830.
Return to Private Life
He went back to Verastau in 1831 to reopen his law office. Holman became an ordained Baptist minister in 1834, after an unsuccessful bid for the United States Senate. His later efforts led to the founding of  Indiana University, Franklin College, and the Indiana Historical Society. He also wrote a novel, The Prisoners of the Niagara. This was published in 1810. He founded the Indiana Bible Society on June 4, 1831.
Federal Judge
Holman's last public post was as appointee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Indiana by President Andrew Jackson in 1835. He held this post until his death in 1842.
Holman added a brick addition to the structure. The cabin burned down in 1837. Holman's son bought the property, salvaged the brick addition and added a one story Greek Revival structure. After later additions, the Holman family owned the home for 125 years. The Holmans sold the home to Cornelius O’Brien, a Lawrenceburg businessman. His daughter, Mary O'Brien Gibson, deeded Verestau to the Indiana Landmarks. The home has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as the regional Southeast Field Office  for Indiana Landmarks. The home is available for rent for weddings and events.
 Veraestau Historic Site
 4696 Veraestau Lane
 Aurora, IN 47001-9406

This article excerpted from the author's book:
A Day in Indiana History - June